Obtaining your concealed weapons permit will allow you to carry a concealed weapon on your person in the state of Florida. This permit is also recognized in many other states as concealed weapons permits are often reciprocal in nature. Florida is a shall-issue state, so as long as you meet the requirements, the state has no discretion in awarding the permits and may not discriminate. To be eligible to receive the permit, you must meet the minimum age, legal and resident requirements and complete an application.
To obtain a concealed weapons permit in the state of Florida, you must be 21 or older. You also must demonstrate competency with a firearm. There are courses that you can take that will qualify you for a concealed weapons permit and this requirement must be satisfied through a state-approved course involving the safe use of firearms. You must also be a United States resident or permanent resident alien and prove it with a document such as a credit card statement, utility bill or other document that indicates your name and a Florida address.
If you have been convicted of a felony, you cannot obtain a concealed weapons permit unless your civil firearm rights have been restored by the convicting party. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor involving violence in the past three years, you cannot possess a concealed weapons permit. Two or more driving under the influence convictions in the past three years or a record of drug abuse also preclude you from obtaining a permit. If you have been dishonorably discharged from the military or have renounced your U.S. citizenship, you will not be eligible.
As of late 2008, if you obtain a concealed weapons permit in the state of Florida, it lasts for seven years and you can renew it within six months or its expiration. Beyond that, you must reapply and go through all of the steps that are intact at that time. The permit allows you to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida, although there are reciprocal states where your license would be valid, including Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington among many others. Florida is the second widest in reciprocity after Missouri. Legally, you can not be in possession of a concealed weapon with or without a permit at a police station, courthouse, school or at the airport.